Does Your Vision Change as You Age?

by Mar 30, 2021

Our vision changes drastically in the first few years of life. When we are born, the vision is not the same as we experience as older children or adults.

There are certain visual milestones that our optometrists are looking out for when children present for their yearly eye examinations. Here are some examples of capabilities that our optometrists will assess during child eye examinations.


Your Vision at Birth

At the time of birth, all the structures of the eye are present and functional. However, an infant’s visual perception of the world will vary as they age.

Their vision will start very blurry, measured to be about 20/900 (compared to the expected adult visual acuity of 20/20).

The first check of the eyes is often done at the hospital right after birth, where the staff complete a quick check for major concerns such as opacities within the eye and the presence of ocular structures.


Vision at Four Months Old

By this time, the child will have improved vision, although still not entirely developed. If measured, our optometrist would expect a visual acuity of around 20/160.

At this point, our optometrist would mostly be looking for major eye turns, opacities in the ocular structures, and large refractive errors that would require glasses at an early age.

A quick view of the back of the eye may be achieved as well, in order to check for intraocular abnormalities.

A measure of visual acuity may be attempted, using objective methods that do not require the child to provide a response.

One Year Old Vision Checkup

At the one year mark, children will generally have a visual acuity of 20/80. The same method used at the four to six month mark may be repeated to determine their current level of visual acuity.

In addition, a check for eye turns, large refractive errors and intraocular abnormalities will be determined.


Eyesight at Two Years Old

This is another major mark to have an eye examination completed. Our optometrists would expect improved visual acuity of around 20/40 or better.

At this age, it may be possible to measure their vision using more advanced methods such as matching pictures on a screen.

In addition, children around this age may be able to complete other testing such as color vision, depth perception, and assessment for moderate levels of refractive error.

Four Years Old and Onwards

This is the age around which children will have the same visual acuity as adults. When measured, this may be the first year they can achieve 20/20.

As the child is also able to read more complicated symbols, letters, and numbers, the measurement for vision is often more accurate.

By this age, much of the testing completed on adults can be completed on the children if necessary, though only the testing required to ensure adequate health or diagnose certain conditions is completed.

More minor binocular vision or visual perception concerns can start to be identified and addressed. From here, the refractive error will likely change and a yearly visit to our optometrists is important to catch large shifts.

It is important for issues to be caught early in order to initiate treatment such as myopia control as early as possible.


Our eye doctors at Wilmington Family Eye Care in Wilmington, DE excel in prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye diseases. Call our optometrists at 302-299-1286 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to learn more about how our vision changes as we age. Our eye doctors, Drs. Daniel Baruffi, Joseph Goldberg, Karen Darrell and Patricia Jones provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Wilmington, Delaware and its surrounding areas.

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